Bilbao
19th - 23rd September 2018
Led by Sue Constable
4 nights
Register interest
The venue for our Autumn Safari is the city of Bilbao situated on the north coast of Spain.

The original settlement was on a small area of flat land beside the Nervion River and from the beginning it was a port and a trading town where fine Castilian wool was sold and exported. In the 17th century iron mining became important. Mines and residential areas existed side by side leading to pollution, overcrowding and health problems.

As ships became larger the port moved downriver and now the docks are around the mouth of the river. Factories and warehouses lined the river banks with access by water on one side and by rail on the other. In the 19th century the iron ore reserves outside the city in Triano were mined producing ore low in phosphorus, much of which was exported to Britain for use in the Bessemer process. The city grew through time and there was a major expansion around 1900, with a ‘new town’ being built.

Although the port remains important, industry in the city has declined and many of the sites have disappeared or are threatened with demolition. There has been a move to rejuvenate the city in recent years and efforts are being made to adapt and re-use some of the factories and industrial sites. The flagship building in this rejuvenation is the Guggenheim Museum built on the site of former wharves.

Our Safari will explore the remains of the industry from milling to iron mining. We will also look at the transport including a narrow gauge railway (Feve), a transporter bridge and a funicular. Architecture will not be forgotten with some interesting groups of workers housing, a walk round the new town and a visit to the Guggenheim Museum.

Our visit to Bilbao in 2018 will be a day longer than normal beginning on Wednesday 19 September and finishing at lunch time on 23 September. This will be a rather more energetic Safari than usual. The walks are likely to be longer and there are some steep hills to climb.
 
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